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British Prime Minister Theresa May greets Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at 10 Downing Street, London, Sept. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Tim Ireland).

Brexit and the Qatar Feud Complicate Growing British Interests in the Gulf

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017

In mid-September, British defense company BAE Systems announced it had signed a letter of intent to supply Qatar with 24 Typhoon jets, in the latest proposed sale of military hardware to the Persian Gulf. As U.S. power in the region has steadily receded over the past decade, the U.K. has tried to seize influence in a part of the world it once dominated by expanding security and economic ties. In an email interview, Jane Kinninmont, a senior research fellow and deputy head of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, explains the basis for enhanced defense cooperation, how tensions within the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, are affecting the equation, and what Brexit means for future British engagement with the region.

WPR: The U.K. just signed its first major defense contract with Qatar. What is the nature and extent of British security ties with the Gulf, in terms of arms sales and defense cooperation, and how are ties evolving? ...

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